5 Most Common Household Hazards

Dated: 10/02/2019

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Common Household Hazards

When it comes to household hazards, some may be easy for you to guess. For example, most of us take precautions against fire. However, there are some threats to your home you may be unaware of. Learn about the five most common household hazards below.

Hazard #1: Mold

While mold is not a pathogen (a disease-causing agent), it is an allergen that can cause a whole host of problems. Molds, including black molds like stachybotrys, form if moisture concentrates in an area where a food source is present. Food sources include things like paper or skin cells. One of the primary clues to mold growing in your home is an earthy, musty scent. Though mold exposure won’t severely harm the average person, repeated exposure is not advised for your health.

Fortunately, you can prevent mold by keeping your home dry, running the exhaust fan when taking a shower, and purchasing a dehumidifier for the basement in the summer. If you do discover mold, don't panic. Hire a professional to investigate the mold and suggest a solution.

Hazard #2: Exposed Asbestos

Up until the mid-20th century, asbestos was commonly used as a building material. At that time it was determined to be a very dangerous carcinogen. Builders are no longer legally allowed to use asbestos; however, traces of it can still be found in older homes.

If asbestos remains undisturbed, it is not harmful. However, if it is released into the air during demolition it becomes airborne and a hazard. If your home was built before the 1980's, it is wise to consult a professional before tearing into any walls. Handling asbestos is a dangerous task, and professionals have the equipment to remove it safely without risking your health.

Hazard #3: Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is often not detectable by the human senses. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills thousands of people each year. Too much carbon monoxide in your blood can cause tissue damage at best or death at worst.

Where does carbon monoxide come from in your home? Improperly ventilated appliances like stoves, water heaters and gas appliances can release carbon monoxide. Improperly cleaned chimneys can also cause smoke to circulate throughout the home.

To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, properly ventilate appliances and clean heat sources like wood-burning stoves every year before use. You also should install carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home.

Hazard #4: Fire

Most house fires are the result of the normal, everyday use of appliances, candles, and cooking equipment. However, the one fire starter many are unaware of is the laundry room. Dryer lint can collect in the dryer and become the starter of an electrical fire. In fact, dryers are the number one cause of house fires.

To prevent house fires, ensure that your appliances have the right rating before you plug them into outlets. Always extinguish candles after usage and carefully watch the stove when cooking. Regularly clean out your dryer and all dryer vents.

Hazard #5: Slippery bathroom surfaces

This hazard may cause you to chuckle, but can be a hidden danger in your home. The bathroom is often ranked as the most dangerous room in the home. Wet, slippery surfaces can lead to some nasty falls and significant injuries. In particular, the bathtub is an easy place to fall when entering or exiting, particularly for the elderly population.

For those who are older, bathroom safety gets more pertinent, so it’s a great idea to install things like grab bars or a walk-in tub for ease of use as you age. Be sure to wipe down any wet surfaces, and place bath mats by the sink and tub to prevent bathroom falls.

Information found on Zillow Porchlight.

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Linda Bondo

I have enjoyed a 30+ year career in real estate, participating in all aspects of the industry including residential, commercial, development, and investment properties. I am excited to have joined the....

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